Former Wing Commander Now Wears a Star

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. John R. Puckett
  • 181IW/Executive Officer
     Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, the Adjutant General of Indiana, promoted Col. Jeffrey W. Hauser to brigadier general on August 7, in a ceremony conducted in the Grand Hall of the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis.
     Family and friends, as well as Airmen and Soldiers of all ranks, attended the promotion ceremony, filling the historic venue and showing support to the officer who guided the 181st through its recent transition from a Fighter Wing to an Intelligence Wing.
     "Colonel Hauser's promotion to brigadier general is a good news story for the Indiana Air National Guard," said Col. Christopher Colbert, director of staff for air at the Joint Forces Headquarters--Indiana.
     "I flew with him in the cockpit of the F-4 Phantom years ago," Col. Colbert said, "and continued to fly with him after the Wing transitioned to F-16 Falcons.
     "Then BRAC happened and he challenged the Wing to transform itself into an intelligence-gathering organization by setting the bar high and motivating Airman to reach it."
     Col. Hauser served as Wing Commander of the 181st for more than seven years, holding that position longer than any other officer in the Wing's history.
     "He's proven himself at the Squadron, Group and Wing level," said retired Brig. Gen. J. Stewart Goodwin. "He's the best candidate for this position, and being only one of two Indiana Air Guardsmen to actively hold this rank is a testament to his professionalism."
     Hauser began his military career in April 1980 when he enlisted in the Indiana Air National Guard's 181st Tactical Fighter Group in Terre Haute, Ind., as a Weapons Loader.
     "My 31 years as a Racer have been exciting," Col. Hauser said. "And today's promotion ceremony gives me an opportunity to say 'thank-you' to everyone whose helped make it possible."
     Maj. Gen. Umbarger said the promotion to brigadier general was a special occasion.
     "One of the enjoyable duties of my position is promoting Airmen and Soldiers," Maj. Gen. Umbarger said. "And this promotion today has a little spice on it.
     "Colonel Hauser has never wavered in his enthusiasm for those under his command. His attitude has been 'Let's get it done--Let's be the best.' I couldn't be more proud of Colonel Hauser and that's why I said there's a little spice on today's promotion."
     Maj. Gen. Umbarger then removed the eagle from the right epaulet of Col. Hauser's service coat and replaced it with a silver star, while Mrs. Mary Hauser, the colonel's wife, pinned a star on the left epaulet.
     After the pinning, Brig. Gen. Goodwin administered the Oath of Office and Maj. Gen. Umbarger unfurled and presented a one-star flag to Brig. Gen. Hauser.
     "Getting promoted is a joyous occasion," Brig. Gen. Hauser said during his official remarks. "It is also sobering, as responsibility increases and expectations rise. 
     "Today I'm happy to report that the leadership skills passed down to me from commanders, and up to me from Airmen, have paved the road for my promotion.
     "It is with the continued support and fidelity of family, and the constant vigilance of Indiana's Airmen that the Indiana Air National Guard will move boldly ahead.
     "So again, let me end the same way I started, by saying, 'Thank you.'"